Great Expectations...

It's that time again. The time of year that I make my list of resolutions to break in the upcoming year. Here goes nothing!!

1. Drink More Water Sounds like a no-brainer, so this is the resolution I'm most likely NOT to break. My sister has a book that says we should drink 2 gallons of water a day!!! That's alot of trips to the bathroom for the old Jillster, but I'm going to try to drink at least 8 glasses a day, and have better looking skin, less headaches, more energy and be in a better mood!!! My life is going to change, and it's all because I'll be drinking more water.

Okay...onto the next one.

2. Make some money. Both kids are in school, so the heat is on for momma to bring in some moola. As you know, my husband has me set up with a new business. We're still putting the finishing touches on it, but you WILL be getting details very soon. Will I break the resolution to bring in money? I certainly hope not, and I think my husband would love me so much more if I were bringing home the bacon AND frying it up it a pan.

3. Stop buying cheap crap I have a closet full of low budget purses that I picked up at Target and Old Navy. They give me a quick thrill because I love getting designer knock offs that I read about in Lucky Magazine, but the novelty ends quickly and the bags fall apart. Then I'm left with more clutter. I am going to make a concerted effort to buy good quality, classic pieces, that will last for years. This will be a toughie.

4. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. I'll admit. I think bad things. Like when someone is driving 20 miles an hour in the fast lane, I'll size them up and think, "What the f-ck are you doing you ugly red neck??" Or, I'll wake up and think. "I have so much g-d damn laundry to do. I'm so buried." From now on, when I'm thinking hostile thoughts, I'll replace them with upbeat positive ones, such as; "That unfortunate fellow. He must have done poorly in Driver's Ed. What a pity. And I really like the mud flaps on his 1978 Camaro. What a stylish chap." Or, "How lucky I am that I am healthy and, able to clean toilets, wash and fold laundry, mop the floors and take out the trash! I'm a very fortunate woman."

If I can keep this resolution I will be a ray of sunshine, who will brighten the lives of all I meet.

And finally...

5. Hold my tongue. I am a reactor. When something sets me off, I respond...INSTANTLY. From now on, I'm going to count to five, THINK and then take action, if necessary. And I will remember the words of the Greek philosopher, Epictetus

"It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters."

Since I'm going to break them anyway, I might as go hog wild. Here goes...in addition to my list, I'm going to workout everyday and become a hard body. I'm going to work at a soup kitchen every Saturday and go to church every Sunday. I'm going to learn French. I'm going to keep my house spotless and make wild passionate love to my husband every night, AFTER I cook him a gourmet meal. I'm going to sew my own curtains....to be continued...

HAPPY 2009!!!


Just poppin' in...

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! I am in the little pocket of time after traveling to Maryland and before heading to Vermont, so I thought I'd share a high point and a low point of my holiday.

High point: Watching a commercial for "Marley and Me" with my niece and having her tell me, "You look like the lady in that movie." YES!!! Thank you so much sweetie! From this point forward you are officially my favorite niece!

Low point: Shopping at the J.Crew store and having a salesgirl ask if I was my friend's MOTHER!!! WTF??? My friend is 32!! Bitch!!! That's the last time I go to our area's snobbiest shopping center without makeup and wearing mom jeans. What a let down.

Okay, there were some other high points, like spending Christmas Eve baking cookies and pies, watching "It's a Wonderful Life" and spending quiet time with my family. Traveling to Maryland and having a blast with my sisters their families and my parents. Getting into some heavy duty family competition on the Wii Fit and bringing my niece and nephew home with us to hang at our house. But none of those compare to my niece telling me I remind her of Jennifer Aniston. As the MasterCard commercial says..."There are some things money can't buy.." and a boost to your 43 year old aunt's ego is certainly one of them.

Oh, and one more high point. My friend and I came in second in our Holiday Ladies Double Tournament at our tennis club. We got a lovely plaque and the pleasure of beating one of the biggest cheaters at our club in the semi-finals. It was sweet. I'll tell you about that later. My tennis playing readers will appreciate the story, the rest of you can click can jump on over to Clemsongirl. I'll save it for the New Year.

So, how was YOUR holiday? Any plans for New Year's Eve?

I'll answer that one for myself. I HATE New Year's Eve. Always have. I hate the fake merriment, kissing everyone at midnight and getting all loud and rowdy. It really annoys me. I love Thanksgiving, adore Christmas, but I hate New Year's Eve and Valentine's Day, which in my opinion, is another fake, phony, holiday. (Can you tell "The Catcher in the Rye" is my favorite book?)

So we plan on hanging out, maybe watch some movies or do Wii Fit. (Can you tell I'm obsessed?) The next day we head on up to the Great White North for a few days. WITHOUT a hangover. Can you imagine anything worse than driving 6 or 7 hours in a minivan with 2 kids AND a hangover. I can't. Seriously. I can't think of anything worse.

Okay, I'm done. Now it's your turn to speak.


Remembering what's important...and what's just plain AWESOME!

The bad news is my poor little blog has been neglected lately.

The good news is I've been spending lots of time with my family, at parties, baking, having friends over and enjoying our time together. Even though it's a cliche, remember how lucky you are this holiday. I've been working on being thankful for the all I have. My health, my amazing children and a loving husband. I take these blessings for granted all to0 often.

Yes, my new Coach Zoe bag under the tree will make me happy, I'll admit, I like getting stuff. But that really and truly is not what makes life complete. (Even though it's the most gorgeous chocolate brown and it smells soooo good.) No, new purses are not that important. (Even when they feel so soft, and buttery smooth...) Really, THEY'RE NOT!!!! (I'm still not convinced...) Anyway..

Here's a quote that sums it up quite nicely...

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.

Calvin Coolidge
Merry Christmas to all my blog friends...your virtual friendships mean so much to me!!!


I've lost that bloggin' feeling! (and I hope it comes back)

It seems that my attention has shifted a bit from my major leisure activities, blogging and tennis. For the past 6 weeks I've felt myself sucked into the puppy, Facebook, Christmas preparation vortex.

I haven't had a puppy since I was childless, so the degree of difficulty has quadrupled. Not only do I have two children, a cat and two other dogs to deal with, I also have tons of other people coming and going from my home, each of them leaving doors and gates open. Did I mention that my 10 year old Chocolate Lab was hit by a car last Saturday night? Yep, she sure was.

SOMEONE was bringing in the Christmas tree and forgot to shut the gate. Miraculously she's okay.

It's driving me nuts, trying to keep all the pets and children safe. I can't be in five places at one time.

I'm like a safety Nazi. Seriously, you should see me, blocking doors and bungee cording the gates shut all day. It's kind of pathetic. I want to get an Invisible Fence, but that idea was vetoed by the head of household. After all, I created this mess, so it's MY responsibility to secure the premises 24/7. I might just take my Christmas money and install a Home Depot generic Invisible Fence myself. I might have bought to many dogs, but I'm sure as hell not going to let one of them get killed if I can help it!!!

Okay, on to Facebook. I am loving it. I have reconnected with some awesome people who I haven't talked to in years. I get to see pictures of their children and keep up with their whereabouts through status updates! I'm sure the novelty will wear off, but having Facebook on my BlackBerry has become my newest addiction!

Finally, tennis. Ahh yes. It was once the love of my life. Then things got a bit ugly with my team last year, and I'm still feeling some bitterness. I've been burned and it will take time to heal. I'm still considering taking up a non-competitive sport like yoga. In the meantime, I'm playing in a doubles tournament on Monday, and hoping I can keep it in perspective. (Even though a nice shiny trophy would look FAB on my mantle!!!)

Wow, that was fun. Maybe I WILL get back into blogging.

Oh and have I mentioned that my husband is setting me up with a new business? He is bound and determined to have me bring in some cash, whether I like it or not. Details to follow.


In the news...

There are a couple of stories in the news this week that really fired me up.

The first is the family in Western Jersey who were outraged that a local Shop rite supermarket would not decorate a cake for their son, named Adolf Hitler Campbell. Apparently this isn't the first time the Shop rite refused to make a cake for their son. Last year they requested a swastika be placed on the cake as decoration.

The child's father is LIVID that the supermarket refused to do the cake. After all, "it's just a name. He's not going to do what Hitler did."

Come on buddy, don't bullshit us. You name your son Adolf Hitler, and your daughters JoyceLynn Aryan Nation and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie and you expect no one is going to be outraged. You're an asshole and a Nazi. 'Nuff said.

The second story is regarding New York State Governor David Patterson's new budget plan which includes a 15% obesity tax on non diet soft drinks. OBESITY TAX? WTF? Once again, the government is going a little too far with this one. Why stop at taxing soda? You might as well have daily weigh ins for the citizens of New York State. If you are over the healthy limit for your height, you have to give the state a dollar. Let's take it one step further, if you are underweight you pay an emaciation tax. A dollar a day until you get up to a healthy weight. Maybe an ugly tax. If you aren't deemed good looking enough, another dollar.

That should help solve the budget deficit. IDIOTS.

And finally, Caroline Kennedy is gunning for the Senate seat being vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Granted, she is from a great political family, she went to Harvard and has a law degree. But she is NOT experienced. She's a socialite and philanthropist, but she is not a politician. It's a nice idea to have another Kennedy in the Senate. But c'mon people...there are other people who deserve it far more than she does and who have years of experience working for the state of New York. If she gets handed the seat it's nepotism pure and simple.

In summary, Nazis, stupid taxes and preferential treatment annoy me. I know that they are all facts of life, but it doesn't make it right!!
What do YOU think?


Does this sound familiar?

Have you ever been talking to someone and they start wiping their nose? So then you start wiping YOUR nose because you think they see something hanging out of your nostil?

So you continue the conversation, the entire time taking turns wiping your noses? Then, when the conversation ends, you run to the nearest mirror to see if you have any "flyaways?"

Yeah, me neither.


Let's talk tipping!

It's the time of year to show our appreciation for a job well done in the form of COLD HARD CASH.

So let's share. Who do you tip, and how much?

I know there are guides for all this. We are supposed to tip our mailman, dry cleaning delivery man, garbage men, babysitters, tennis pros, hair dressers, babysitters...the list goes on and on.

Do you tip EVERYBODY? How much do you typically tip at Christmas?

How about people at work? I am responsible for buying gifts for a TON of people at my husband's job.

As a matter of fact I should be working on that right now!!!

My oh my, this time of year is so overwhelming!!!

The good news is, my husband asked me to get myself something nice, so I called my local Coach store and bought myself this sweet little bag!
It's the large Zoe in Chocolate brown leather. I can't wait to get my hot little hands on it!!!
All he has to do is swing by the Coach store and they'll have it wrapped and ready. Yippee.
How are you guys doing with Christmas?


Nothing says "I hate you" like a shoe to the face!!!

Did you see the footage of the Iraqi reporter throwing his shoes at President Bush? If you haven't Google it...it's hilarious. Bush is laughing while the guy wings his wing tips at his head.

It's classic holiday entertainment.


"I LIKE SAVING MONEY, I do, I really do!!" Repeat 1000 times until you actually believe it.

I was listening to the radio this morning and the announcer mentioned that many people who have not been affected by the recession (who's that???) are embarrassed to purchase luxury items such as jewelry, high end cars, or designer clothes.

This, in turn, is not good for the economy, because companies that produce these items are suffering. You know the story. So to those of you who are loaded...get out there and buy yourself that new diamond tennis bracelet and that Hermes Birkin you've been eyeing up!! Help the economy! Keep your housekeeper and your gardener...they need the work.

Okay, now I'm going to talk to the rest of you.

I am not a person who has alot of luxury goods, but I have been trying to be really careful. Knock wood, Brad my husband still has a job, but he who knows what tomorrow will bring.

In the spirit of saving money I've been trying to ENJOY spending less.

Take my car, for example. My minivan is five years old. Lately I've been eying up some cool SUVs. They look great, but I'm going to resist. My car is paid for, it runs great and as long as I keep it clean I'm cool. Yeah, I don't have a sweet Lexus LS 570 with rain sensing wipers and alloy wheels, but at least I won't have a fit if my girls spill ice cream in the back seat.

I've also been working on little things like skipping the McDonald's Diet Cokes and Starbucks Cinnamon Dulce Lattes. (God help me)

Some things I haven't cut back on. My husband would love it if I let go of our cleaning lady who comes every two weeks, but I'm not ready for that. I need her, DESPERATELY. Plus, she needs the work and she's been with us for 8 years. I can't do it to her.

My 9 year old has Ugg boots and a North Face fleece. These are the normal uniform for kids in our town. Throw in gymnastics, tennis, swim lessons and a beach club and things REALLY add up fast. I hate to admit it, but around here, these things are the BASICS. Even when you're "being careful" normal life is EXPENSIVE.

I really hate being panicked and tight on money. It stresses me out and it REALLY stresses out my hubby. So, as part of my quest for self improvement, I have to THINK before I spend. I have to be aware of what's coming in, and what's going out. About college savings, retirement and a safety fund in case, god forbid, my husband loses his job.

Scary stuff.

My strategy is to try to enjoy the feeling of not spending. Yesterday I didn't spend one dime. I made my own coffee, ate at home and didn't shop for anything, not a magazine, not a candy bar...nothing. Sure it's hurting the economy, but I'll let the rich people spend their cash.

If I'm good now, I can spend my golden years hitting tennis balls and looking out at the ocean from my awesome retirement home on the beaches of North Carolina.

And you're all invited to visit me.


Perspective and Balance

You may have noticed that I haven't blogged much about tennis lately. There is a good reason for it.

#1 I haven't been playing as much due to my mini bike accident. My sister is calling me a sissy but it still hurts like a bitch when I do certain things. LIKE SLEEP!!!

#2 When I have been playing I've been trying my damnedest to avoid the drama. When there IS drama, I have been channeling the Buddha and trying to remain unaffected by it. Not easy.

As you know, tennis is a competitive sport. Therefore, unless I'm drilling I either win or lose every time I play. I prefer winning. If I lose I can handle it, but when I lose to someone who is PSYCHED openly to win it kind of pisses me off.

Last week I was drilling with a Pro along with some psychos from my USTA team. They hit HARD and they were having a love fest with each other. "BEAUTIFUL SHOT!!!" "Yeah, awesome...you and Shane are definitely playing together...you're going to kick ass!" Whatever.

These ladies would rather BASH the ball into the net or three feet out than hit a "meatball", as they call it, over the net and in.

And then suddenly, as if God channeled my thoughts into the Pro's brain and out of his mouth
he said to the she-males...

"I'm really not sure what you ladies have to prove, but you really need to control your aggression on the court. If you bash the ball and it goes into the net, it does you no good." Then he turned to me, "If you play these ladies, play smart. They can only play when someone gives them speed. Take it easy, and you'll win."

Oooh, they didn't like that one bit. Man, that guy has NERVES!!!!

He had a great point. The problem is, if and when I've beat them by hitting it back consistently and with medium pace, they bitch..."that wasn't REAL tennis, that's old lady tennis."

So yeah, I like to win, but I have discovered you can't really win with some people. EVER.

My solution:

1. Continue to try not to give a shit when I get stuck on the court with these testosterone fueled ball bashing Neanderthals.

2. Look on the bright side when I deal with them, they give me GREAT blog material.

3. Move on to a new team, which I have. I received an invite to join a team of fabulous, mentally stable ladies who know how to behave. (More about that later.)

And finally, put it all in perspective. After all, it's just tennis.

(Do you know how hard that was to say???)


Oh, and one more thing...

To those of you who aren't on Facebook, yet...get with the program!

We are having tons of fun over there, and you KNOW you need another time sucker in your life!

Go sign up-now.

After you do, e-mail me: jillyou@verizon.net and we can become "Facebook friends."

Yeah, I know, I'm bossy. Trust me, it's even worse in real life. ;)

It's time to make your voice heard!!!

I'd like to draw your attention to a nifty new feature here at Caffeine Court.

It's my Snapvine audio comment voice player. Check it out - do you see it? It's on the far right of your screen!! There you go...now that you've found it-use it!!!

Instead of leaving me a little note, pick up the phone and CALL MY BLOG!!!

I left a little message on it so you can here my voice, and now it's YOUR turn.

I look forward to hearing from you.


Thank you

Thanks to all of you who left comments on my last post. You're kind words meant alot to me.

Joe's funeral was today. So heartbreaking.

His brother told some great stories that really summed up the essence of who Joe was.

As many of you said, all I can do now is help his wife Michele and her children. She looked so frail and vulnerable, but I can tell you this, she is a VERY strong woman.

When I saw her at the viewing she was wiping my tears, which is a typical Michele thing to do. She is always taking care of others.

I hope we can all help her get some rest and care for her for a while. She has had to be strong for so long, I can't even imagine how exhausted she must be.

The mass cards we received had the Serenity Prayer on them:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. -Amen

The prayer is all about acceptance, courage, and wisdom. It's about recognizing that we usually don’t have any real control over the world or the actions of others. It reminds us to live one day at a time, enjoying each moment.

Tomorrow it's back to the every day routine for me. For Michele and her children they begin a whole new chapter of their lives.



I wasn't sure whether or not this is appropriate to post, but I thought I'd share some sad news.

My husband and I lost a friend of ours this week. It was very sudden and tragic.

He had an amazing wife and three children ages 9, 7, and 5. We will be attending his viewing on Sunday and the funeral mass on Monday.

He was only 42 years old.

Our friend struggled with alcohol and had been in and out of rehab. We feel guilt because we pulled away from our friendship with him in the last year of his life. He was very unpredictable and very hard to be with sometimes, but he had a huge heart and was alot of fun. Unfortunately he was unable to conquer his demons.

In the early years of our friendship we shared many great times and got to see the best of him.

His wife loved him so much and was so devoted to him, even when he was at his worst.

It's so sad that his story had to end this way. We hoped he could turn things around and he and his family would live happily ever after.

At least now, he is at peace.

Tonight, before you go to sleep, hold the ones you love close, because life is precious and everything can change in an instant. Be kind to each other and remember that some of the people who look the toughest on the outside can be very fragile.

If you know someone who is going through a tough time, call them. I didn't call Joe and I regret it, and now it's too late.

Treats and Trinkets

Since my daughters got a new puppy for Christmas, Santa will be bringing small gifts this year.

I want the girls to be excited Christmas morning, so I need to get creative with my stocking stuffers.

Here are some things I got:

Smencils These are really cool scented pencils made from recycled newspaper. They come in delicious scents like Cotton Candy, Tropical Blast and Cinnamon all the kids in my town love them.

Chopstick Kids These are soft washable foodsafe little hinges to help you tame your chopsticks. You stick the chopsticks in the leg slots and voila...you're eating your sushi like a champ!!! They come in boy or girl style. I got mine at Borders.

Surfer's St. Christopher Medal: St. Christopher is the protector of travel. In the sixties, surfers wore this medal as a good luck piece to protect them while surfing. I got mine at a local surf shop, but you land locked folks can find them online. They come in all different fun colors and you can get a necklace or a bracelet. Only $14.

Mr. Bacon-Pig Racing Toys I have no idea why, but all the girls in my town want these. They come in tons of colors. And their only $12.95. I got mine from Wacky Planet.

I have girls, so I can't really help you out with the boy swag.

I need to get more stuff, any suggestions??


My constant quest for self-improvement...

Last month I tried to focus on getting my house organized. I accomplished quite a bit, but I realize that like so many other things, eliminating clutter and keeping things tidy will be a constant battle for me. It always has been and always will be.

Kind of like finances and diet. It's amazing how when you let little things go, it snowballs and BOOM!!! Your house is a mess, you're fat and broke. DAMN!

Here's some other things I'm working on:

My BlackBerry addiction. They don't call it the CrackBerrry for nothin'. I love it so much...too much. I walk around with it all the time and if I don't know where it is I feel a little SHAKY.

I've been taking baby steps to ween myself of this compulsive need to check my CrackBerry every 2 minutes. Now that I'm alerted every time I get a blog comment or some action on Face Book it's hard to keep away.

Here are some of my recent efforts:

I don't sleep with it in my bed anymore. I put it in the bathroom so I am unable to reach over for it every time I see that I have a new message.

When I go to the grocery store or to the post office. I leave it in the car.

This week's goal? To try not to pick it up every time I see the little blinking red light. It's never anything urgent-and it's a total time sucker to pick it up every time another spam message arrives in my in-box.

I'm also trying not taking the bait when someone tries to pick a fight with me, avoiding playing into the psycho head games of the hyper competitive women I encounter at tennis, and cursing less.

Check out this website: Zen Habits

It's a great resource for improving your life with tips on achieving goals, productivity, being organized, motivation, eliminating debt, saving, getting a flat stomach, eating healthy, simplifying, living frugal, parenting, happiness, and successfully implementing good habits.

I'll be writing more about this in coming weeks. This is the time of year when everyone is running in twenty different directions and it helps to stay centered and not let all the craziness get you down.

Maybe if I'm a little more centered I'll curse less. After all, have YOU ever heard the Dalai Lama drop the f-bomb? I think not!!!


The judges have made their final decision!!!

Sorry for the delay. I was so impressed with my finalists in the "Get Your Shit Together Challenge" that I had to call in some judges.

Up until 9:30 EST we had a three way tie between Tara at If Mom Says OK, Andrea at Mommy's Martini and Maureen at Mom Times Two.

I was at a loss, so I called in a final impartial judge to declare a winner.

She made her choice...and the winner is...

Andrea at Mommy's Martini!!!!

Here are some examples of her amazing accomplishments...

The Office...

The Dining Room

The Walk In Closet

Congratulations to all our participants, you have been such an inspiration for me. I am still working on my projects in between cleaning up puppy poop and pee and I will post results as I complete them. (Don't hold your breath.)

It's nice to know that I helped motivate others to do what I could not.

Andrea...send me your address so I can send your Southern Living at HOME catalog and $75 gift certificate.

Stay tuned for more contests including Best Road Rage Fight, Hottest Encounter at the Supermarket and Largest Collection of Domestic Pets...you too can be a Caffeine Court Award Winner!!!!

Good night and God bless.

It's tough being a hot housewife aka The Pizza Man is Desperate

I'll announce the results of my contest later tonight. I have some judges still debating the winner.

In the meantime, I have a story to tell. As you know, I am getting older (aren't we all?) and don't get hit on very often. So when I do, it's a big deal and I must share.

You probably recall when the motorcycle dude from "The Village People" Hit on me in the Produce Department at Super Foodtown a few weeks back.

Well, my latest suitor is our pizza delivery guy. This one looks like Yul Brynner. He's a big Russian with a bald head. Every time I answer the door, he looks me in the deep in my eyes and stands a bit too close. Last time he came over he told me (with a strong Russian accent)..."you smell really good."

"It's not me," I told him, "I just got a new reed diffuser." He didn't know what the hell a reed diffuser is, but it WASN'T me. The reed diffuser smells AWESOME. Like currants.

"No," he insisted stepping a bit closer, "YOU smell good." Hmmm...I guess he's into the scent of post tennis sweat...ewww!!

Alarm bells go off in my head...

Okay guy. Thanks whatever. Here's your money. Now hurry along, you're kind of freaking me out!!!

Today he arrives, pie in hand. Steps right up next to me and purrs..."I love your hair." A little inappropriate don't you think??

That's when I start talking loud..."ALRIGHTY, THANKS SO MUCH!!! BYE...HAVE A GREAT NIGHT." I shut the door quickly and don't look back.

Yowsa. I think I might need to call Domino's from now on. Their delivery guys are about 12 and have no interest in hitting on housewives.

Maybe a better idea is to only order pizza when I need an ego boost. I've gained a bit of weight post Thanksgiving, I guess the Russians like their women, shall we say, FULL FIGURED.

It's a vicious cycle. Feel fat, need ego boost, order pizza. Eat more pizza, get fatter. I think I'm better off getting my kicks in the Produce Section.

Now excuse me, while I go feed my thighs.

Footnote: Don't worry Braja...I always lock my doors. The guy's a flirt, but my instinct tells me he's harmless. Just to be safe, this cougar's going on a diet-no more pizza deliveries!!!


Deadline is Midnight Tonight!

If you're in on my challenge, leave a comment here by midnight tonight. I'll be judging tomorrow and will announce the winner on Tuesday, December 2nd at 9 PM.

C'mon ladies, show me your stuff!!! (And hopefully that stuff is displayed in a very orderly fashion!!) Here's a little motivation from some of my frontrunners!!!

Messy office!!!

Clean office!!!


Here's another project completed by one of our contestants!
Organized Drawer!!!

Messy Drawer!!!

And this is just ONE example of their many accomplishments. There's still time. Let's make it happen!!!


Caffeine Court FULL THROTTLE!!!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

We had a blast. My first order of business upon arriving at my sister's house was jumping on my nephew's MINI minibike to tool around the yard for my family's amusement.

I decided to take that baby up as fast as it would go...I came cruising down the hill feeling like "Easy Rider" and enjoying some speed. As I approached the crowd of spectators and the upcoming driveway (filled with cars) I decided I'd better slow down, I let go of the throttle and realized it was stuck!!! I couldn't slow down!

Considering the fact that I haven't been on a minibike since 7th grade, I didn't know what to do. I pictured myself hitting the driveway at full speed and made the snap decision to ABORT.

I jumped off the minibike and hit the ground HARD. When I first hit I thought for sure I broke a rib. I pulled off my helmet and saw the bike, still running hurtling towards the neighbor's yard.

Lucky for me it got stuck in a bush. After a great deal of laughter, my nephew mentioned to me that "yeah, sometimes the throttle gets STUCK." Gee Kyle, thanks for telling me that before I got going at full speed!! Luckily no children or animals were killed and got off easy with some bruised ribs.

After a few glasses of wine, I felt much better. Pinot Noir and turkey have great healing powers!

Now it's back to the old routine. I don't know how I'm going to top my Thanksgiving stunt this Christmas. Maybe I'll bungee jump off the roof!!


Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving...and then GET BACK TO WORK!!!

I'm off to my sister's haunted house in Maryland to enjoy a little family togetherness.

Before I go, don't forget that the deadline for my "Get Your Shit Together Challenge" is Monday!!!

On Monday I will go to your respective blogs and check out all your hard work. The person who I feel has accomplished the most receives the coveted prize...

A $75 Southern Living at HOME Gift Certificate!!!!

So enjoy that family time and then get back to those closets, bookshelves and junk drawers. Make me proud!!! You'll be "thankful" that you did it.


Here's What's Playing at the Caffeine Court Multiplex...

The holidays are here again, which means it's time to spend quality time with our loved ones.

My girls love movies, but it's tough to find films that appeal to them AND me! Some movies like "Ice Age" and "Madagascar", I find painful to sit through, and I only tolerate them because they make the kids happy. Scary movies are out of the question, so we don't watch any Harry Potter, Batman, or Spiderman. (Brad and I save those for date nights!)

Comedy is the genre that we all love, so here is my short list of movies my that my whole family loves!

1. Elf

Will Ferrell plays Buddy, a very large human who was raised by Santa's Elves at the North Pole. Will Ferrell is a total trip and we never get tired of watching this holiday flick. Classic scene: when a dwarf kicks Buddy's ass.

(Bonus: James Caan plays Buddy the elf's long lost Dad-and I LOVE James Caan!)

2. School of Rock

Yeah, I know, there's some adult language..but other than that, this movie is hilarious and the kids like fantasizing that they could be in a rock band.

Even if you don't approve of letting your children watch a movie about a loser alcoholic who lies and breaks the rules, rent it on your own and watch it. Jack Black is absolutely hilarious.

3. Shrek

No bad language, great music and funny as hell. Pure genius and it never gets old, no matter how many times you watch it.

4. Daddy Day Care

This movie relies on pratfalls and poopy jokes, which makes it our kind of movie!

Late additions:

I just thought of a few more that my kids and I LOVE...

"Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." I love it so much that for years I got myself spray tanned just so I could look like an Oompa-Loompa!

"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" A bizarre remake of the original with an amazing sountrack!!

The 1998 re-make of "The Parent Trap. " Lindsay Lohan was adorable before she got all messed up - and Dennis Quaid is smokin' as usual!

This is the last one, I PROMISE. Here's another good one with Lindsay L. The remake of Freaky Friday. VERY ENTERTAINING. Especially for girls.
What movies do you actually LIKE that you can watch with your children?


Life with Buddy aka A CRY FOR HELP!

It's been 8 days since I adopted our newest family member and what a week it has been.

Granted, I've had puppies before, but this is the first time I've attempted it with 2 children, a demanding husband (no offense), 2 dogs a cat and a recently remodeled house. It adds quite a bit to the degree of difficulty.

My life pretty much goes like this...

Wake up tired from getting up at 2 am and taking puppy out, take Buddy out of crate. Take him outside.

Feed Buddy, take him out again, or clean up poop or pee if he doesn't make it out in time.

Soothe 5 year old daughter who was wrestling with Buddy and got bit on the finger..HARD with his sharp little teeth.

Pull shoe out of Buddy's mouth.

Pull crayon out of Buddy's mouth.

Pull curtain out of Buddy's mouth.

Feed kids breakfast.

Take them upstairs to get dressed. Hear barking. Buddy is stuck behind the dresser. Wedge him out.

Brush teeth, brush hair, realize we are running REALLY late. Run around yelling.

Pack lunches while holding puppy with one hand.

Throw puppy in crate and rush out the door.

Repeat, over and over and over again EVERYDAY.

(For variety throw in occasional trips to the vet and Petsmart.)

This is the life of a girl who didn't get married until she was 33. Who loved hanging out reading books, going to brunch with friends, and generally slacking at my leisure.

I did laundry when I felt like it. I ordered in. I partied like a rock star. And sometimes I got really lonely.

Those days are over. No more slacking. 2 loads of laundry a day. And always surrounded by little creatures, begging for my attention.

Would I trade my current life for my carefree bacholorette days? Hell no! All those parties, weekends at the beach and goofing around with friends was TORTURE.

I love chasing puppies, vacuuming, cooking, loading the dishwasher, unloading the dishwasher, grocery shopping, cleaning out litter boxes, I LOVE IT!!!!

Do I desperately need a Girl's Night Out? FUCK YEAH!!!! (OOOPS...excuse my language, I'm really tired....really, really tired, like about to SNAP tired...Don't worry about me, I'll be okay.)

Anyway, as I was saying. My life is great. Now pass me a valium and a big glass of vodka.


You'll never see this scene on "The Waltons"..

The scene: The Caffeine Court Residence

The cast: Jill (the family matriarch), Meg (her precocious 9 year old daughter), and Catherine (her outspoken 5 year old daughter.)

The scene opens, the family is spending a quiet Saturday morning hanging out and listening to a random mix off iTunes.

Katy Perry's hit song "I Kissed a Girl" comes on.

Catherine: "She kissed a girl??? Why did she kiss a girl?!"

Meg: "Because she was DRUNK!"


Cut to commercial.


What's your THING?

What do I do when I'm burnt out and have nothing to say? Yeah, yeah, the puppy is wearing me down...

What I do is pull out a post from last year!!! Enjoy!!!

My sister plays soccer on a ladies' team. Her new neighbor asked, "Is soccer your THING?" My sister didn't know how to answer. She said she doesn't know if she has a THING. She almost felt bad that she didn't. She plays soccer once a week, works part-time as a nurse and dabbles in the PTA. But she doesn't have a thing per se. I think her thing is being hilarious, she cracks me up!

Unfortunately that isn't enough for her. My poor little sister has 'THING Envy."

My friend Sandy's husband's thing is his band. My other sister's thing is being a sports mom. My friend Tricia's thing is her involvement in every committee in our town. My thing is tennis.

Having a THING is wonderful, but I don't think my youngest sister should feel bad for not having one. She's probably better off. Sometimes the THING we're known for can take over our lives and overshadow some of the really important stuff. Too much of anything is never good. (With the exception of caffeine!) :)

You know where I'm going here...What's your THING?

New topic alert!

Attention Collage members! I know I've been neglecting our group effort, but I just put up a new topic.

Let's talk money!


No Meg, there is not a Santa Claus...

Some of you have asked how a puppy purchased on November 15th is going to count as a Christmas gift when the kiddies run down to look under the tree.

Well, I'll tell you how.  We have an agreement and my daughters are going to learn to stick to it.  There will be stockings and a few of their small requests, but there WILL NOT be a pile of "My Little Ponies" "Littlest Pet Shop" products or or "Bratz Doll Styling Heads" wrapped and ready to be forgotten at the bottom of the toy box.

Catherine still believes in Santa.  So I told her that I contacted him and told him that her big gift was Buddy the Pug.  She accepted it without argument.  I'm hoping she is as understanding on Christmas morning.  I think she will be.  (Yeah, I'm delusional.)

I think too much crap under the tree is overkill and like I said, half the stuff they don't REALLY want anyway.

Which leads me to my next subject.  My 9 year old daughter Meg and Santa.  For about 3 years she has been told by classmates that there is no Santa.  She has been desperately clinging to the idea and claims to still believe, although she cornered me the other night and asked me to tell her the truth.  POINT BLANK.  I told her I didn't know what to say.  (I'm such a wise woman. Maybe I should write a parenting book.)  

It was almost as if she wanted me to tell her he didn't exist.  (Or maybe she wanted me to convince her he does...  Who knows?)

Anyway, she went to sleep, but I know it's time to tell her.  Any suggestions?

Oh and no, I'm not going to tell her Santa is dead.  I just thought this picture was funny, in a sick sorta way.

If for some reason she goes on my blog today. I won't have to worry about how to tell her, now will I?


The Face That Rocked My World...

Meet my new son. Buddy. Dog number three. (In addition to our cat and hermit crab.)

I have no idea what came over me. Saturday my daughters and I went to a puppy store to look at pups. The next thing I knew we were sitting with this little Pug in our laps and the girls were begging to bring him home.

I started picturing Christmas morning, frantically opening a bunch of crappy toys that would end up in a Rubbermaid container in the basement when I decided to make an offer. 

"What if this dog was our only Christmas gift Our family gift?" They lit up, cheeks rosy, jumping up and down. Before I know it I was filling out paperwork and writing a check. "What's the matter Mommy? You don't look happy." My oldest daughter implored. "I AM happy!!" I said while my heart pounded in my chest. I was FREAKING out. But the deed was done.

On the car ride home I let my husband know that I already took care of all our Christmas shopping and that there would be a surprise waiting for him at the house. HE...WENT...BALLISTIC. I've never heard anything like it, and I seriously thought he was either going to have a heart attack or find me and strangle me. (Did I mention we already have 2 dogs and a cat?  Yeah I know I did but I thought I'd say it again.) 

Pure primal fear washed over me. I called the store to ask if I could return the dog. My kids screamed and the store refused to take him back. I was royally screwed.

I started calling friends and family members for advice. The typical response was, and I quote, "What the FUCK were you thinking?" I had no answer. I kind of pictured a movie moment where the Dad says "NO DOGS!" but once he sees the puppy his heart melts and he caves in. Then the whole family has a big group hug.  Real life doesn't always work out like a Disney movie.

Once my husband calmed down, he decided to use my impulsiveness and lack of judgment to his advantage. My daughters and I were all required to sign contracts promising everything from cooking dinner 4 times a week, to practicing multiplication tables daily.

He's also bossing us all around. I guess I deserve it.

Bottom line is, I have to kiss ass for the rest of my life.  The good news is, my kids are sooo happy.  But Mom's gonna pay.  BIG TIME.

To be continued...


An unwelcome distraction..

The other day I had my annual mammogram at a "breast center."

I always picture getting bad news at these things, so I was a little tense.

As I sat in the waiting room playing with my CrackBerry I noticed a foul odor. It smelled really gross, like rotten milk, or...dog shit. I checked my foot and indeed it smelled like dog shit, because it WAS dog shit. All over the bottom of my brand new chocolate brown Ugg tall boots. DAMN!

I had to run into the bathroom, remove my boots and spend 10 minutes rinsing them, rubbing them with with paper towels and soap, rinsing and repeating. That stuff was completely embedded in the soles of the boots, like spackle. I was gagging.

I'm sure the lady next to me in the waiting room really enjoyed smelling my 100 lb. Lab's poo while she waited to see if she has a tumor. Maybe in some small way, I helped her to worry less about her results while she concentrated on the stench wafting from the bottom of my boot.

The good news is, I was so busy scraping the canine excrement off my boot, that my cancer fears evaporated in a cloud of stink.

When I emerged from the Ladies Room with a clean fresh boot, it was my turn to go in.

The bad news is, they changed their policy at the BREAST CENTER and I won't get my results for 10 days. I miss the old days when I could wait and walk out feeling like I dodged a bullet for another year.

Now here's my public service announcement. Don't forget to do routine breast exams. Get your yearly mammogram if you're over 40. And if you have dogs, make sure you walk around your yard with a shovel EVERY DAY.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.


I think I need to start trying harder.

I received the following e-mail this afternoon:


Our editors recently reviewed your blog and have given it a 7.7 score out of (10) in the Personal category of Blogged.com.

This is quite an achievement!

We evaluated your based on the following criteria: Frequency of Updates, Relevance of Content, Site Design, and Writing Style.

After carefully reviewing each of these criteria, your site was given its 7.7 score.


Please accept my congratulations on a blog well-done!!


Amy Liu

Marketing Department



I have no idea how they got my blog. If anyone has a clue let me know.

So...I headed on over to Blogged to see what the heck their website is all about.

When I saw my rating, I was a bit insulted. After all a 7.7 out of 10 doesn't sound so great. (Wouldn't that be a C in school?) After hopping around the Blogged website,I was pleased to discover, I was in great company. They have a really great selection of blogs.

Go check it out, you might find a cool new blog that you've never seen. There are tons of blogs that are way better than mine. (Can you believe it?) It took a hell of alot of scrolling through the "EXCELLENT" and "GREAT" sections to get down to my little old blog in the "VERY GOOD" category.

My new goal in life, after I get all my closets and drawers organized, is to get my rating up from a pitiful "C" to at least a B +. Wish me luck.

(Okay Amy, I gave your website a plug...now can you give me a "REALLY, REALLY GOOD" rating??)

Footnote: If any of you got this e-mail too, let me know, I'm curious!!

Now, it's time to do me a favor. I'll owe you if you do. Click on the icon above and rate me better than a 7.7. I need it up to at least an 8.0. 7.7 is pitiful.


Some nights I lie awake and ponder...

Why oh why do men feel the need to take 5 minutes to back into a parking spot "because it makes pulling out quicker?"

Help me out here, I've gotta get some sleep!

Footnote:  I'm reading your comments and determining that backing into a parking spot isn't exclusively a "guy thing."  I'm still wondering though...WHY?


The answer to yesterday's riddle...

Congratulations to Just Ask Beth. She nailed my riddle EXACTLY.

A "sexual intellectual" is a FUCKING KNOW IT ALL.

Here's the definition according to Urban Dictionary

A person who is clearly a fucking know-it-all. A blend of a smart ass and a douche bag - overall an annoying person that no one can stand.

Many of you came close to the second definition which is:

A person who knows a lot about sex. Not just having it (though that is the best way to learn), but also on a scientific and intellectual level. This person knows about and can discuss sex from a practical point of view.

I loved all your attempts at guessing. What a clever bunch.

If you haven't been over to Urban Dictionary you simply must pay them a visit.

They can teach you some really funny terms, such as Crop Dusting (farting while walking) or fo shizzle my nizzle which expresses agreement with a friend or cohort.

For example..."Would you like a cup of chamomile tea?"

"Fo shizzle my nizzle!!!"

Who says reading Caffeine Court isn't educational?

Probably some "sexual intellectual!"


Today's Riddle...

A friend of mine's father used to call her mother a "sexual intellectual." 

 They are now divorced.  

What is a "sexual intellectual?"


Today is the deadline to sign up!

"Adam Sandler here, reminding you to sign up for the "Caffeine Court November Get Organized Challenge!"

The deadline for this contest has been extended to December 1st. (cause it's a Monday)

That's the day when our lovely and fair judge will look at your before and after shots and determine our Grand Prize Winner!

Here's who's on board:

Tara R., Simply Not So, More, More, More (Kerry), Mama Wheaton, Karen, Alexis Black, The Mrs., Mrs. K., Mrs. D., Maureen, Impoverished Preppy, High on Hairspray, The Pink Putter, Smart A$$ Mom, and Mommytime

Remember, whoever does the most organizing gets a whopping $75.00 Southern Living at HOME gift certificate! (audience applause)

A gorgeous Hadley Pollet knock off belt sewn by Jill, in the Caffeine Court sweatshop will go to the person who inspires us most during the month with comments or posts giving us helpful tips and examples of clean and tidy closets and drawers. (audience oohs and ahhhs!)

So get on it ladies!!! Imagine all the wonderful things you'll find under the junk in your walk in closet!!! (Remember those cute boots you bought at Marshall's last year? They're in there somewhere!!!)

Have a super productive weekend!!"


A break from the daily grind.

I did this again because I didn't realize I could do this cool collage effect.  Damn...all the cutting and pasting I did was for nothing!  Try it this way.  So fun.  Okay...back to the sewing machine.  Then I have to play tennis from 8-10 tonight.  Shit.

I also have to pack.  We're heading to Maryland early in the morning to visit my sister.  (The one without a blog.)

P.S.  I am still cracking up that Adam Sandler is my closest celeb look alike.  I guess better him than Chris Farley.

My celeb look alikes!

Since all the cool kids are doing MyHeritage face recognition I thought I'd give it a shot.  

The center photo is the one I used.  The celebrity I most resemble?  Adam Sandler  It's weird because I always thought that when I looked in the mirror.  Now it's confirmed by the experts.

The runners up (in order)...Holly Hunter, Glenn Close, Debra Winger and Sheryl Crow.
What do you think?Which one do I look the most like?  

Try it and let me know your results.

Oh and to my little troupe of organizers, don't let this little diversion keep you from your tasks!   Once you're done, get back to work.  I'll be compiling the list of participants this weekend.  Hugs.

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